I learnt about LinkedIn through a friend. He invited me several times to join the platform but I ignored it. One day, I visited the site and wondered what was going on there: everybody was a “Big Man”. Jejely, I walked away and never looked back. I couldn’t imagine the business I have with a place, where CEOs, top company directors and people with intimidating CVs, meet and discuss Big Man’s matter. Anyway, that was in 2010/2011.
My friend got tired of dragging me to LinkedIn and obviously felt that I wasn’t a serious person. Not that I didn’t want to be big, but at that time, all I needed were people that would show me the way to personal and professional development. I was still experimenting with a lot of things and the least thing I needed then were people that have achieved greatness making people like us feel invisible. So I ignored LinkedIn because I saw it as a place I will come to when I have achieved. What a mistake.
I came back again to LinkedIn after several years. That was around 2015. I somehow learnt that LinkedIn can help people find jobs so I came with alacrity, hoping to land a better job. I created my profile when I came and tried to stay on board for some time. But I got disillusioned when all I could see were people posting their foreign certificates and photos taken with CEOs of big companies; narrating how their planned board meetings with top CEOs were successful; talking about anchoring or talking at events attended by Big Men, and what have you. I walked away again. But this time, LinkedIn didn’t walk away from me; it already had my email address so it sends me notifications every now and then. I told myself it will get tired one day and leave. But it didn’t.
I finally got hooked by LinkedIn in 2017/2018, when my younger sister told me about her friend that got a United Nations’ job that was posted on LinkedIn. She was actually surprised and appalled when she learnt that I haven’t been a LinkedIn fan. To keep her off my back, I came back to LinkedIn again and then coincidentally read the posts of some young Nigerians like Chinedu Ihekwoaba, and was like my mates are here, let me tag along a little bit. To be honest, I started noticing that either LinkedIn has changed or there were good things in it before that I didn’t see. But if you ask me, I will say that the latter was the case.
The fact that a lot of people, both young and old, still avoid LinkedIn, which is a platform that could change their lives for the better, shows that LinkedIn is still not attracting and retaining the people that need it. Whenever I try to invite people to LinkedIn, I always receive responses that sounded like mine before. I also realised that, just me, a lot of people have created accounts with the platform but do not bother visiting their pages. Some people believe the platform is not real while others feel that it was created to intimidate a certain category of people. I have even heard a person say that people come there to brag about their achievements.
Those people that felt that LinkedIn is not real believe that people don’t get jobs or find clients on LinkedIn. It will be hard to change their views because they have not or do not know any persons that found jobs on LinkedIn. Well, the only way to change their minds is to convince them to stay on the platform long enough to see its magic.
As for those that believe that LinkedIn is a place to brag and intimidate people, well, I don’t blame them. I also felt that way before. But truth be said, some people, in their bid to win clients or just chase clouts, exaggerate or lie about their achievements. I can attest to this because I have seen many so-called influencers copying and pasting posts from another person without crediting the original owner. In a situation where those posts are about jobs and achievements, it will be hard to know who is truly honest and who is not.
But one can never over emphasize the benefits of LinkedIn to everybody: be it job seekers, workers, entrepreneurs, and so on. I can attest that I have developed a different outlook to life as a result of being there. Connecting and following intelligent and visionary people in the platform have influenced me for the better. There are so many good things in the platform, but then, people need to learn to sieve through the noise in order to pick the values.